Should you use hardwood in the kitchen?
Hardwood flooring needs no introduction. The king of flooring, hardwood is the most desired flooring product for clients in design. A wide variety of species, colors, sizes and textures makes hardwood a designers dream. When well maintained, they can last a lifetime and when worn down, they can be refinished and take on new life.
Hardwood flooring will add timeless warmth, beauty, and style to your kitchen.
We will discuss the pros and cons of using hardwood in your kitchen and hopefully can help you make the right flooring choice for you and your family.
How much does hardwood flooring cost?
When choosing hardwood for your home, you should certainly expect to budget for it. While there are reasonably priced hardwood products on the market and sometimes you can catch a sale, but beware there is often a reason for it. You get what you pay for and you may soon find out that your great deal came at a price. So spend a bit more and you will be rewarded.
Hardwood flooring is a fantastic investment for your home. Hardwood is highly regarded as an asset in the real estate industry and its presence can add thousands of dollars to your home value.
Hardwood flooring and design
The selection of hardwood available on the market today is impressive. Home owners have a variety of choices to choose from such as a lighter or darker floors, the type of wood and grain, to the type of texture, there is a perfect product for every style.
There are over 50 species of hardwood available to the consumer today, each offering their own unique color, strength and grain and come in a variety of widths and lengths as well.
Strip Hardwood Flooring
This form of hardwood flooring is restricted to widths of 1 ½”, 2″, and 2 ¼”. Strip hardwood flooring creates a very linear appearance and creates the impression of length in smaller spaces.
Plank Hardwood Flooring
Plank hardwood flooring is available in widths from 3″ to 8″. This style also creates a linear appearance but is generally wider than strip flooring.
Hand-Scrapped Hardwood Flooring
Hand-Scrapped hardwood flooring leaves the product ribbed looking more textured than smooth. This style aids in disguising damage and provides a rustic look.
Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Unfinished hardwood flooring is a natural state flooring where stain and finishing has not been applied. Manufacturers give you complete control over the look you want to accomplish. Beware that many manufacturers are less likely to give you the same warrantee that you would receive with a pre-finished floor.
Pre-finished Hardwood Flooring
Pre-finished hardwood floors are entirely sanded, stained, and finished making for easy installation. Pre-finished floors account for more than half of the hardwood market today as this product is very cost effective.
Parquet Hardwood Flooring
Parquet hardwood flooring is right back in style again resembling various geometric patterns and or arrangements made from individual wood pieces.
Types of hardwood flooring
This form of hardwood is a solid piece of wood cut into planks but can only be installed over a sub-floor. This hardwood flooring is not suitable for ground floor structures.
This hardwood flooring is becoming incredibly popular today due to its stability, durability, and versatility. This product is made from several piles of wood that are then glued and laminated to form a single wood plank. Engineered hardwood can be installed just about anywhere.
Long strip hardwood
Also engineered but is shaped into longer strips and is generally wider as well. A single piece of long strip hardwood, depending on the style, will give the appearance of several rows of wood on one plank.
Is hardwood flooring a durable choice in the kitchen?
It is no surprise that hardwood can last a lifetime however this product requires care and can require more maintenance as well.
Hardwood flooring being a natural product makes it susceptible to scratching. Although certain woods may be harder than others, wood is still quite soft. Floors can be repaired professionally but there are fillers and tools that can help with a DIY fix. If you are a dog owner, you might want to discuss this further with your hardwood supplier as you will need to choose a harder wood.
The kitchen is usually the heart of the home so traffic is high. Strength is important factor when choosing to go with wood throughout the home and kitchen.
If you are choosing to go with a hard wood like hickory or maple, you could simply use a durable kitchen rug in your high traffic zones to protect your floor, but if choosing a softer wood, you may want to consider installing ceramic or porcelain tile in high traffic zones like by the sink or stove. Installing tile in those high traffic areas will help to reduce the wear of your softer wood floor.
The Janka table represents the strength variations of hardwood species. Refer to this list when choosing a species for your flooring surface.
How Fire resistant is hardwood?
Hardwood floors are generally treated with fire retardant material to help slow the progress of any fire.
Is hardwood Water resistant
The finishes used on hardwood flooring today are quite tolerant of water, traffic and staining, however like all natural flooring products water left standing for an extended period of time can lead to your floor cupping, and or cracking. Introduce rugs or mats to your kitchen space to prevent any water related damage.
How to maintain your hardwood floors
Sweeping, dry mopping, and vacuuming are easy ways to keep your floor in great shape. Prevent scratching and scuffing by placing fabric pads under furniture and appliances and be sure to follow the manufacturers suggestions for product and finishing before using any other over the counter products.
Installing Hardwood flooring in the kitchen
In the past hardwood flooring could only be glued and nailed down to specific sub flooring construction, but most floors today are click flooring systems, it is possible to install hardwood flooring over existing floors and concrete, easily and on your own.
Professional installation of hardwood can significantly raise your cost but there is value in knowing the job will be done right especially when forking out the cash for a high-end material.
Hardwood Flooring Sustainability
The use of hardwood flooring has often been frowned upon as trees are removed from their natural environment but today forest management takes precedent over depletion where there is twice as much timber planted annually as is harvested. This is also known as sustainable hardwood.
Hardwood that is harvested is also replaced to ensure future growth. Rest assure that this industry is equally concerned for the environments well being. Hardwood is a natural product so it can also be recycled.
Hardwood flooring finishes allow for these floors to be protected from mildew and mold and their construction does not harbor dust.
For further information on hardwood flooring, be sure to utilize the knowledge of the National Wood Flooring Association at www.woodfloors.org Other recommended resources on hardwood are the National Hardwood Lumber Association which you can visit at www.natlhardwood.org or visit the American Hardwood Information Center at www.hardwood.org